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Netflix and the Transgender Film Center (TFC) are teaming up to launch a new fellowship aimed at supporting promising transgender and nonbinary creators
The Career Development Lab is a new, 12-week, intensive project through TFC and funded by Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity. The fellowship, which aims to accelerate the careers of its participants, will support eight filmmakers in film and television for its inaugural class.
“While transgender creators are beginning to make headway in pursuing their storytelling careers, there is still a powerful need to both enable access and prepare trans filmmakers to succeed in the industry,” Sav Rodgers, TFC’s executive director, said in a statement. “We are so excited about the Career Development Lab because we believe its rubber-meets-the-road insights and partnerships with industry players will help participants break into careers in film and television.”
Applicants are scored by a panel of TFC board members and lab partners on their demonstrated strength in six individual areas, including potential, readiness and need. Selected fellows will then have access to hands-on site visits, including behind-the-scenes looks at festivals, as well as a series of virtual classes and in-person workshops hosted by industry pros.
The curriculum will be focused on developing skills and understanding around the written and unwritten expectations of success in Hollywood. Beyond classes and workshops, participants will have access to working industry executives and get to experience the operations of entertainment organizations, along with receiving a $10,000 unrestricted grant to support their program participation, including travel and accommodations.
“One of the things we believe sets this lab apart from others is the real-talk curriculum,” Rodgers said. “We are getting into the nitty-gritty of how to navigate the industry as a trans person, what to do when you encounter bias, how decisions really get made that affect your advancement — things that aren’t talked about in the open, but are required knowledge to get the most out of a career in entertainment.”
TFC and Netflix are set to host the inaugural lab this spring, with selected participants notified by May 31. The application is currently available at transfilmcenter.org and submissions are open until April 23 at 11:59 p.m. PT.
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